ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 55: Interview with Gene Luen Yang, from SUPERMAN & AMERICAN BORN CHINESE

The ComicsVerse Podcast has already featured two episodes of the work of Gene Luen Yang yet somehow we are always left wanting to hear more from this contemporary genius. The auteur of AMERICAN BORN CHINESE, BOXERS AND SAINTS, writer of three years of THE LAST AIRBENDER, and current writer of DC Comics’ SUPERMAN, sat down with the ComicsVerse Podcast to discuss how he works, how he broke into the comics industry and the inspiration behind his work.

Each panelist had too much to ask for anyone to be satisfied, but I came out of it with the recommendation that I read Jay Stephens’ Land of Nod so that’s enough for me. Justin, Kathy, and Kay interviewed Gene along with Jo Chiang, Angela Yih, and me, Nolan Bensen. What I remember most is the widespread agreement that AMERICAN BORN CHINESE spoke to most all of us not only as Chinese-Americans, but as members of immigrant families and the immigrant movement.

HEAR: Want more AMERICAN BORN CHINESE? Listen to our first podcast covering this amazing graphic novel!

Yang’s AMERICAN BORN CHINESE tells three interweaving stories. One follows a version of the Monkey King from the prologue to Journey to the West, one of the four great novels of pre-modern China. In both the original and in this version, the head of a tribe of monkeys stumbles his way upward through the hierarchy of the Celestial Bureaucracy while mastering a series of supernatural martial arts maneuvers. This story in AMERICAN BORN CHINESE is interspersed both with that of a young Chinese-American boy’s experience in U.S. public school and the plot of an apparent sitcom episode: a white American high school student visited and accompanied to school by his Chinese racial stereotype of a cousin. I wouldn’t ruin any of the book’s middle or later plot, but let’s just say these three plotlines have more to do with each other than I expected — I was too immersed to quibble about traditional plot structures anyway.

LISTEN: Another popular graphic novel featuring Asian-Americans is SHORTCOMINGS! ComicsVerse covered it in a podcast here!

Perhaps most surprising of all is what happened when I asked Gene about his unusual plot structure and he recommended Jay Stephens’ The Land of Nod to me as one of its inspirations. Jo Chiang made the astute observation that these three highly different narratives resemble the code switching an immigrant must perform to get by in their adopted home, and although Gene said that he hadn’t even thought of this aspect, it just shows that good writing comes from truth, and truth comes from within.

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EMP Presents: B.Y.O.B. Episode 2

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Bring Your Own Book!  Alex, Corwin and Viet are joined by the Melanie J Starchilde of Nerd Goggles Podcast and Nerdcore Rapper Tribe One to talk about what we’ve been reading (Non Avengers and X-Men that is…).

Books covered:

Alex + Ada  – Image Comics

The Bunker  – Oni Press

Rat Queens  – Image Comics

Avatar: The Last Air Bender – Dark Horse Comics

Fear Agent – Dark Horse Comics

Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird  – Marvel

Comics Cross Game – Viz Media

Samuari Jack – IDW Skyward  – Action Comics

Revival  – Image Comics Snapshot – Image Comics

Prophet  – Image Comics

The Fifth Beatle  – Dark Horse Comics

Sex Criminals  – Image Comics

Black Science  – Image Comics

Email: TheAvengers@EarthsMightiestPodcast.com

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Comic Book Savant Episode 138: Comics Talk: Cutting My Stack


A new month a new Cutting My Stack episode! If you are a new listener this is a new format to the podcast where I do one full show the beginning of each month and review all the comics I read the previous month. This episode I will be discussing Amazing Spider-Man, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Batman, Bloodshot, Daredevil, Moon Knight, and The Walking Dead. Enjoy!

Comic Book Savant Episode 128: TV & Movie Talk: Avatar: The Last Airbender


This week I discuss one of the greatest stories in Comics and Cartoons Avatar: The Last Airbender. I talk about everything Avatar from the original cartoon series, movie, graphic novel series and the all new series Legend of Koora. Also I review the new movie Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope. Enjoy!

Comic News Insider Episode 356 – Movin’ On Up w/ Ben Templesmith!


Comic News Insider: Episode 356 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: The Bionic Man #1, Superman Beyond #0, The Ultimates #1

Ben Templesmith, Jimmy’s future new roommate (in 1 day), sits in the guest co-host chair this episode. They discuss the antics they’ll get up to as roomies and the inevitable blackmail pictures that will follow. Jimmy has a villain named after him in this week’s episode of Warehouse 13. (Thanks to pals and W13 writers Ben Raab & Deric Hughes for that!). News includes: JSA will return to new DCU, Marvel will publish The Destroyers and upgrades Alpha Flight to a full series, Brian Wood’s DC & Marvel work, Deadman TV show in the works at the CW, Showtime picks up The Damned, and Gene Luen Yang does an Avatar: The Last Airbender comic book! As always, Listener Feedback, the Top 3 and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love!

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